Now and then, Voyager

“The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted.
Now, voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.”

Walt Whitman

What has this poem to do with anything?

Walt Whitman
Everything actually.

I watched the classic movie “Now, Voyager” the other day. It’s a first rate Warner Brothers melodrama starring Bette Davis, about a plain spinster who seems to have all the odds stacked against her. She goes through a transformation, psychological and physical… the epiphany being that you don’t have to follow the rules set by so called society. What the outer world deems success may not be your version at all.

So here’s the latest on my own eclectic journey.

It’s been a pretty busy and varied week here… cooking on all the creative hobs!

Last Sunday, Bob (my accountability partner… more on that in another blog) and I attended our first Stoke Con Trent Comic and Celebrity convention at Staffordshire University campus. I found myself straddling the two worlds of acting and comic creating as I experienced last time at MCM Birmingham. The ‘Mags‘ banner went up so there was a gentle reminder as to ‘Who‘ I was in case the intervening years had changed me!

My lovely friend Sophie ‘Ace’ Aldred was next door to me with Trev and Simon… promoting their podcast show “Strangeness in Space“. On the other side of me was a lovely fellow James McKenzie, known for his role in the tv children’s series “Raven” (something my kids were watching a few years ago). I had barely set up my stall when there was a flurry of activity as people were coming up to get DVD covers signed, selfies with me and buy comics. And nearly every single customer pledged for my “Life Drawing” book as well, which was really satisfying.

Some of my long standing comic friends were also there, including Mike Collins, Lew Stringer, Gary Crutchley and Colin Mathieson from Accent Books. Gary told me all about the Comics Course that Staffordshire are offering and sent some students with their work my way. I also met Stephen Griffiths who runs the drama department and it was encouraging to see the arts are a strong part of the curriculum here.

The week brought developments in other areas. I have had it confirmed that an original page of my art work from the “Vivacity” comic is going to be exhibited at The Cartoon Museum as part of “The Inking Woman” exhibition which starts on April 26th running till December. I shall literally be ‘hanging’ with the female star comic artists, including Posy Simmonds, Karrie Fransman, Corinne Pearlman, Hannah Berry, Rachael Ball, Alison Sampson, Emma Vieceli, Sarah Lightman, Nicola Streeten, Wallis Eates and Henny Beaumont.

And the big news of the moment is that I am soon to star in the European premiere of “Ballroom“, the Broadway musical at Waterloo East Theatre this May. The last time I performed at this terrific fringe theatre was with my one woman show “Sunset Bitch” about seven years ago now. This show is a poignant Cinderella story about a middle aged widow finding new life at the local ballroom. It features a fantastic torch song “Fifty Per Cent” which is more famous than the show. But I’ve heard the score and it is all fabulous.

I shall also be exhibiting some of my art work and selling prints and comics after the show in the foyer. All for the “Life Drawing. A Life Under Lights” crowdfunding pot. So be sure to book your tickets and come see us.

About Jessica

Jessica Martin is a multi-talented performer whose career has taken her from comedy impressionist to musical theatre leading lady and scriptwriter.
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